No decision yet on parks position

By Maura Wery

Riley County commissioners are debating whether to fill the position left open by the retirement of Rod Meredith, but the options they have been given aren’t adding up. On Monday, commissioners viewed three options for dealing with the duties previously performed by Meredith,  but did not settle on any of them.

One option would be to keep the current position as it but remove the park director title. Whoever is hired would serve as the assistant public works director, oversee the operation division and oversee parks. That person would answer directly to the public work‚s director, and the projects and duties usually completed by the parks director would be absorbed by the current parks personnel.

A second option would be to remove the parks director title and the assistant public works duties, then search for an employee who would oversee the operation division and oversee the parks division as well. The remaining duties would be absorbed by both public works and parks personnel. 

The final option, and the one supported by both public works and parks, was to search for two employes, one to oversee the operations division and a second to oversee the parks division.

Commissioners were a bit shocked at the potential cost of the third option.

“You are going to need to create the positions without that much change to budget,” Commissioner Dave Lewis said.

Public works director and county engineer Leon Hobson admitted that the fiscal impact wasn’t determined, but assured commission that he didn’t believe it would be as high as they think. That, he said, was mainly because both the parks and public works positions would already be budgeted for and the new position could be built into the budget if two part time seasonal positions were cut from both departments.

Commissioners asked Hobson, budget officer Johnette Shepek and human resources director Cindy Volanti to determine the fiscal impact.

Election update

With the election a little more than a month away, county clerk Rich Vargo wants voters to remember the Oct. 16 deadline for registering to vote. Advance voting by mail will begin Oct. 19.

Advance voting in person will begin on Oct. 23 and Vargo said a new location will be available. The Kansas State Student Union will have advance voting from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays until advance voting closes at noon on Nov. 5. Vargo said an advance voting station will also be at the county office.

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